Let’s be honest. The airport can be one of the most stressful places on the planet. And if you have to try to get around using a language that is not your native language, it becomes even more stressful because no one wants to miss their flight.
But it doesn’t have to be stressful.
In this lesson, we’re going to teach you 5 essential English phrases that will help you not miss your flight and cut down on the stress while at the airport.
When you first arrive at the airport and go through security, your first stop is usually to check in where they will give you your boarding pass and you will check any bags that are not carry-on bags. In bigger cities, there are often lots of different airlines and the correct counter can be difficult to find quickly. This phrase will save you from carrying your heavy bags all over the airport looking for the right one.
2) Where is my gate?
After getting your boarding pass, you will likely pass through security one more time before you can start looking for your gate. The gate is the spot where you will board the plane. If you arrive early, you will likely wait for a few minutes before your boarding time. Your boarding time is usually 20 or 30 minutes before your departure time. But if you’re in a rush or having trouble finding the correct gate, this phrase can help you keep from missing your flight!
3) I have a connecting flight.
Especially when traveling internationally, its very common to have a layover. When that’s the case this phrase can help you let airport personnel know that you need help finding where to catch your next flight to your final destination.
4) Where is baggage claim?
Once you’ve reached your final destination, it’s time to pick up your checked bags. This phrase can help you locate the spot where you can collect your bags.
5) Where is the currency exchange office?
Lastly, you won’t get very far without the right kind of money. To swap your cash for the local currency, you will need to find the currency exchange office. Once you exchange money, you can be free to catch a taxi or bus to explore the city!
Security – the place in the airport where you and your bags are scanned by machines to make sure you are not bringing dangerous items into the airport or onto the airplane
Boarding Pass – the ticket you receive that allows you to get on the airplane
Check – this word has 2 meanings at the airport:
- to look over “The security guards checked my bags three times!”
- to give bags to airport personnel at the check-in counter that you will not carry-on to the plane “I did not check any bags this time, I only brought a carry-on bag.”
Carry-On – smaller bags that you are not “checking,” but are bringing with you on the plane
Checked bags – usually larger or heavier bags that you do not bring on the airplane with you, but the airport personnel take and store underneath the cabin area of the plane
Gate – the place in the airport where you go when it’s time to get on the airplane. You usually arrive here a little early and wait until your boarding time
Boarding time – the time that you are scheduled to start getting on the airplane
Departure time – the time that your plane is scheduled to leave
Layover – a stop at an airport that is not your final destination. You usually have to switch planes. Often you will have to wait at the airport for a few hours before your next flight.
Final Destination – the city your last flight lands in (where you are trying to go)
Baggage Claim – the area where you pick up your checked bags
Local Currency – the type of money used in the country you are visiting
Currency Exchange Office – the place where you can exchange money for the local currency
Choose the correct word or phrase from the list above to fill in each blank in the story:
Tom looked at his watch as he waited in line to walk through the scanners. “Oh no!” he thought to himself, “I hope I get through ________ quickly! I still have to go to the check-in counter to check my bags and pick up my _____________.”
Thankfully, the security guards did not stop him for an extra search. He quickly grabbed his belongings and asked the nearest person, “Where is the ____________for Pegasus Airlines?” The man pointed to the end of the row of check-in counters. “Thank you!” Tom said.
After waiting patiently in line for a couple minutes, Tom approached the check-in counter and pointing to his large suitcase, the Pegasus employee asked him, “Just one _________ bag?”
“Yes,” Tom replied. Pointing to his smaller briefcase in his hand, he said, “This one is a ___________.” After weighing his suitcase, the Pegasus employee handed him a piece of paper. “This is your _______________. It shows your boarding time and the _______________, the time when your plane is scheduled to depart. You have a short __________ in Amsterdam, but your luggage will be checked all the way to your _____________ in London. Be sure to ask airport personnel in Amsterdam for help if you can’t find where to go for your connecting flight quickly.”
Once he finished with check-in, Tom passed through security again and made his way to his ________ where he then boarded his plane. Settling into his seat on the airplane, Tom thought to himself, “Hopefully I can find baggage claim once I get to London, but I will probably have to ask someone where the __________________ is located, so I can exchange my money for the local currency.”